Over the past decade, technology and modernization have changed everyday lifestyles. The fast-paced life is contributing to increasing stress levels. Stress is a leading cause of chronic diseases, impacting overall health and well-being worldwide. Prolonged stress is linked to cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes, attention deficit disorder, and mental health disorders. Anxiety and depression are the two main mental health disorders caused by stress.
As the prevalence of mental health issues continues to rise, society is increasingly recognizing the significant impact of mental well-being on our overall health. Mental health awareness is garnering more attention and creating a radical shift in people’s mindset. Although the stigma regarding mental health still exists, increased investment in awareness initiatives is transforming society’s outlook. World Mental Health Day is hence observed on October 10th to educate and create awareness about mental health and well-being. Introduced in 1992, it was an initiative by the World Federation against the social stigma surrounding mental health problems.
This blog emphasizes the role of mental and emotional well-being in our lives and suggests tips for better mental health. So, let’s understand them better.
Importance of Mental Health and Emotional Well-Being in Modern Life
Mental health comprises an individual’s emotional, social, and psychological well-being. It defines how a person thinks, feels, and acts. While mental health involves the cognitive issues affecting an individual, emotional health evaluates the ability to express and manage emotions.
At a deeper level, the two ideas exhibit psychological, cognitive, and behavioral differences. However, together, they decide how a person reacts to stress and manages relationships in daily life.
Physical and mental well-being are essential for a healthy and balanced life. Although people usually focus on physical health, mental well-being demands a deep understanding of an individual’s experiences. Managing work, relationships, and health is a challenge in modern life, given the lifestyle changes over the past few years.
Mental illness affects individuals, families, communities, and the world. As the effects on each segment of society are connected, this phenomenon is called the ripple effect of mental illness.
Positive mental health helps to deal with these challenges better. Also, it is a crucial predictor of recovery from mental and physical illnesses. Reportedly, individuals who maintained or gained high positive health are 27.6 and 7.4 times more likely to recover from mental illnesses.
6 Effective Tips for Better Mental Health
Mental well-being is essential in every phase of life and shapes an individual’s choices and experiences. Positive mental health improves the overall quality of life and reduces susceptibility to health complications.
The following are useful tips for better mental health and a healthy life.
Incorporate Stress Coping Mechanisms
Enduring stress while balancing the different aspects of life is common. While stress gives the needed adrenaline rush, “chronic” stress can have detrimental effects on health. On average, the number of people stressed is 35% in 143 countries worldwide.
Moreover, stress can affect the overall well-being of a person and reduce their ability to think and work optimally. Balancing work, relationships, and zeal is the key to a healthy life. Hence, evaluating stress levels and building resilience to cope with challenges is essential.
Here are a few coping strategies for effective stress management:
- Find the source of stress
- Maintain a journal and write about your stressors
- Practice the 4 As of stress management (Avoid, Alter, Adapt, Accept)
- Reach out for support
Mindfulness is the ability to be fully aware of the present moment. It involves practices to be conscious of your thoughts, actions, feelings, and sensations. Research states that mindful practices, including meditation, help minimize stress and thus cope with anxiety and depression. According to studies by Mindfulness Box, 275 million people practice mindful meditation worldwide.
The following are some ways to practice mindfulness:
- Concentrate on your breath when you are anxious or stressed
- Focus on the movements and different body sensations while exercising
- Experience the taste and visual appearance of food while eating (mindful eating)
- Use healthcare apps to imbibe mindfulness in the routine
Get Adequate Sleep
Sleep is an essential part of our routine. The quality of sleep influences our physical and emotional well-being. Adequate sleep helps combat the risk of chronic health problems. Moreover, it determines how well you function, react, and focus on your work.
According to the Philips Global Sleep Survey 2019, 62% of adults say that they don’t get adequate sleep. Sleep apnea and insomnia are the most common sleep disorders. Insomnia is a condition where the individual faces difficulties in falling asleep or getting quality sleep. In sleep apnea, the upper airway gets blocked during sleep, affecting sleep quality.
Here are a few tips to improve sleep quality:
- Practice good sleep hygiene, like going to sleep at the same time or when you are tired
- Reduce screen time before sleep
- Ensure you switch off all the lights and the room temperature is appropriate
Physical fitness helps to change mood, combat stress, manage weight, improve brain health, and build bone and muscle strength. Additionally, regular exercise reduces the risk of developing lifestyle diseases like diabetes, cholesterol, stroke, obesity, and hypertension. Walking, running, jogging, aerobics, and yoga are examples of physical activity to improve overall health.
On that note, here are a few points to imbibe a fitness routine:
- Assess your health
- Start with a simple 30-minute routine and track your progress with healthcare apps
- Create realistic goals; don’t overexert your body
Develop a Positive Mindset
A positive mindset influences your attitude toward work, life, and relationships. Further, a positive attitude is reflected in your actions and interactions with others. Besides, an optimistic approach builds resilience and courage in difficult times.
Studies link a positive mindset to good immune system health and decreased anxiety and depression. Another way a positive mindset helps is to lead a healthy lifestyle. 87% of people with an optimistic mind are more likely to make healthy lifestyle choices.
Build Social Relationships
Humans are social beings. The quality and quantity of relationships play a crucial role in overall well-being and life expectancy. It enhances an individual’s personality, confidence, self-esteem, and skills. Social connectedness involves bonding with family, friends, co-workers, and community members.
In a broader sense, relationships foster a sense of belonging among community members. Nurturing strong and supportive connections builds resilience and helps the community thrive.
These are the ways to foster healthy social connections:
- Join a group or community related to your passion or skills
- Strengthen relationships with your family, co-workers, friends, and others
- Volunteer for a cause you care about (NGO, garden, library)
The Bottom Line
Mental and emotional well-being are essential to maintaining a healthy balance in all spheres of life. Childhood, life experiences, health, genetics, work, and social relationships influence an individual’s overall mental well-being.
Further, a person’s mental health varies throughout their lifetime. Mental illnesses often occur due to imbalances in these demands’ expectations and coping abilities. Managing stress, quality sleep, a balanced diet, mindfulness, and a healthy social life contribute to overall emotional well-being.
Nurturing mental and emotional well-being is crucial for maintaining a healthy equilibrium in all aspects of life. An individual’s overall mental well-being is influenced by various factors, including childhood experiences, genetics, health, work, and social relationships.
Moreover, an individual’s mental health fluctuates throughout their lifetime, with mental illnesses often arising from imbalances in the expectations placed upon them and their coping abilities. Effective strategies for promoting emotional well-being encompass stress management, ensuring quality sleep, maintaining a balanced diet, practicing mindfulness, and fostering a healthy social life. In this context, healthcare software development can play a significant role in supporting these efforts.